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Bad Romance: A case of two male convicts in a women's federal prison

By Magpie

In 2017, Correctional Services Canada (CSC) made some “gender considerations” that would allow male convicts to call themselves women and to be housed in women’s prisons, (because of the passing of Bill C-16, which enshrined “gender identity” into human rights law). Gender Dissent is against this cruel and ill-considered policy and supports the advocacy of Heather Mason, who has been the only voice for her incarcerated sisters’ safety, dignity and privacy since the organizations set up to help these women have fallen to the gender industry. From information obtained through public and private sources, Mason has learned things that would make any normal Canadian despair. The following is just one example of what CSC and our government has allowed to happen.

In 2005,13 year old Nina Courtepatte and her friend left West Edmonton Mall with a group 5 of strangers, who offered to take them to a bush party. Days later, Nina's body was found on a golf course. The popular, bright child, who dreamed of becoming a model, had been raped, tortured and murdered, in ways too brutal to be shared. Michael Williams, 17 years old at the time of the sadistic killing, pled guilty to 1st degree murder. He was sentenced as an adult to life in prison. Michael had shown no remorse for his actions, and was considered 'highly psychopathic'. His lawyers argued unsuccessfully that he should go to medium, rather than the maximum security prison requested by the Crown. Locked in Kent Institute with the likes of serial woman killer, Robert Picton, Williams’ history of hurting females should have been over. That’s what Nina's mother, Peacha Atkinson, fought through years of numerous trials and appeals to see - that Nina's killers did not evade justice. She fought for other missing and murdered Aboriginal girls, too. Ten years after Nina's death, Peacha died from cancer. It’s a small mercy that she didn't have to watch Williams game the system that CSC set up in response to C-16: five magic questions that, answered correctly, would send a male convict (never mind what kind) to move in with the female prisoners.

While still in men's prison, Williams became engaged to an inmate named Frank Colasimone, in for a long history of drug offences and armed robberies. This happy event originated a new start for Williams, who renamed himself Michelle Autumn Colasimone, and thus began the weird and unusual hopscotch these two played across the federal prison system in both men and women's estates.

Williams was now, as far as CSC was concerned, a woman. According to Bill C-16, gender was self-determined, and the prisons had only to affirm a prisoner’s identity. A few offenders were judged too dangerous to be given the gender-reveal party in women’s prison (and it’s true that no female who declares male gender has been moved to the men’s estate; make of that what you will), but Williams’s crimes of torture, rape and murder flew right under the barrier. Supported by trans activists, Williams was moved to the Fraser Valley Institution for Women.

At the risk of being indelicate, it’s worth noting that no sexual-reassignment surgery had been done on Williams’ male body, and the hormone regime was irregular and infrequent, presumably because Williams wanted to keep normal bodily function. And if any official at CSC wondered about the logic of sending a bodily intact male sex offender to the women’s estate, we will never know. It didn’t break any rules, anyway.

Things there weren’t as sunny as CSC had presumably expected them to be. For one thing, if 86% of the female prison population had been the victims of sexual violence (as reported in The Vera Institute of Justice survey, 2016 ), then a lot of the women in the maximum security unit would’ve been upset to be sharing space with Williams. Just like any of us. But CSC didn't show any concern about these natal women and their rights. A source claims that one of Nina’s relations was an inmate there at the time so one can only imagine the welcome Williams received. Whatever the atmosphere, though, Williams was soon accused of sexual assault.

A note on prisons: Kent Institution (for men) and the Fraser Valley Institution for Women (FVI) are in the same geographical area, and both offer treatment programs for inmates, but the similarities probably end there. Kent is a maximum security prison. FVI has a maximum security unit, but it’s for women. There are many differences between the facilities of male max and female max, and the criminal risk assessments of the male and female populations. One major delineation is that female sex offenders often have male accomplices. An interesting parallel is that both sexes offend against female victims. Williams, being male, was not only much safer in the women’s prison, he had formerly used female accomplices. Women’s prison was much safer for him than Kent was, but the women who had to bunk with him were immediately put at a far worse risk than they had ever been during their incarceration.

During this time, Frank Colasimone, the fiancé from Kent Institution, also discovered himself to have been born in the wrong body, and was awarded the gender grand-prize of a transfer to FVI! The lovers were back in the same prison…but not in the same unit. Colasimone was sent to medium security (still far more comfortable than the Kent counterpart), while Williams was stuck in maximum security. Colasimone wasted no time making new friends in his female cohort, while Williams, having won the honour of designing the cover of “Women’s Prison Network” magazine, wrote a self-aggrandizing polemic against callous CSC in which he tells on himself (“So they threw me into Seg, separating me from my fiancé who is another inmate in the same prison, then Max me out and Involuntary Transfer me. The reason given: I’m a major problem who causes serious institutional adjustment”). So, Williams went back to Kent, either by compulsion or choice (CSC claims it was voluntary) and was not able to transfer back to FVI. The lovers came so close to being reunited, but cruel fate intervened to separate them.

The last our source heard, Williams was in Saskatchewan Penitentiary (for men), teaching the inmates how to discover their innate female-gender and get transferred to the women’s estate. Hopefully, that ends the offence done by CSC to justice, and to Nina Courtepatte’s memory, and Williams will never again be sent to women’s prison.

Our source has more information, though. When she was protesting outside FVI last summer, a guard yelled to her: “talk about the pregnancies”. This is baffling. How could there be a pregnancy in a woman’s prison? The answer is -- Frank Colasimone, who we last met socializing with the women in medium security. Apparently, he found a girlfriend (we’ll call her S.N.) who not only beats up Colasimone’s detractors and forgives his unfaithfulness, but is also carrying his baby (for the second time -- there was a tip off to a journalist in January, 2020. S.N. is out and living at a halfway house in British Columbia. She will be taking the mother/child spot at the residential facility (which luckily still exists, though if more male pedophiles like Matthew Harks are going to be transferred to women’s facilities, will be in real jeopardy). Colasimone is still at FVI.

Nina wasn’t the only girl hurt and killed by a remorseless psychopath only to be forgotten in CSC’s race to be the most gender-affirming correctional service. She wasn’t the last girl terrorized by Michael Williams, though she should’ve been. And even the comparatively less malignant Frank Colasimone was given free rein to cause pain to the female inmates of FVI.

We don’t know the names of the women who suffered by being locked up with these men because they aren’t allowed to complain. They don’t want to lose points that they collect for good behaviour; they all want to get back home. Who knows what will happen to S.N. and her baby? The outside is notoriously tough for former inmates. CSC’s policy of gender consideration created this unthinkable situation, but they aren’t going to take responsibility. Hopefully, someone besides Heather Mason is paying attention to this unfurling disaster, because it’s not just star-crossed convicts who are going to suffer.

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